Catholic Church in Calif. warns of fake priest making rounds

Javier Posada, above, is suspected of making believe he's a Catholic priest or bishop in Northern California
CBS Sacramento

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Catholic Church leaders say a phony priest has been making the rounds in Northern California, going into people’s homes, celebrating mass and possibly asking for money, according to CBS Sacramento.

The Sacramento Diocese says Javier Posada is pretending to be someone he’s not - a Roman Catholic priest or bishop. The Diocese believes he’s focusing on the Spanish-speaking community and has been in Vallejo, Gridley, and possibly the Sacramento area.

“My experience is a lot of people in the Mexican-American and in the Latino communities is, they’re very welcoming, and they enjoy being around their priest, and it’s like he’s taking advantage of their generosity,” Kevin Eckery with the Diocese told CBS Sacramento.


 “The last thing we need is some confidence man out there pretending to be a priest,” Eckery said.

The Diocese says it has reports of parishioners funding Posada’s trips to Florida for an event.

Father Rodolfo Llamas at Our Lady of Guadalupe says he plans to warn his Sacramento congregation.

“We have to protect them from deceiving and misbehavior and everything,” he said.

CBS Sacramento says it tried to contact Posada for a comment, but didn't hear back from him.

The station also says it found what appears to be Posada's Facebook page, filled with religious references. The Diocese reportedly believes Posada is based in Santa Barbara and belongs to a group called The Santa Barbara Old Catholic Church of America, a group split from the Catholic Church about 200 years ago.